Chairman Paul Simpson: 'Democrats are not the Party that is going to keep Texas great'
Harris County Democrats proved the 2020 Democrat presidential candidates are too far left for Texas.Read more
District Clerk Dr. Diane Trautman had proposed combining the Republican and Democratic primaries in Harris County
By David Jennings
August 9, 2019
As I mentioned here, I didn’t think that the Harris County Republican Party would agree to a joint primary. And the party ultimately decided not to participate in a joint primary for the following reasons:
- Delay: We remember 2008. Over 410,000 people voted in that Harris County Democrat presidential primary. You can expect at least as many voters and even longer lines in the 2020 Democrat primary. By contrast, with a unified Republican party, we expect the GOP primary turnout to be much smaller. Making Republican voters wait in Democrat lines would discourage voting–which is the opposite of your stated goals.
- Confusion: We have had reports of Democrat election workers coercing Republican voters. The Democrat Party habitually accuses Republicans of intimidation. With the inevitable imbalance of personnel, one party’s workers at a poll would wholly or partly manage the other party’s primary at many locations. That would give rise to disputes and questioned election results. To minimize confusion, neither party should run the other party’s primary.
- Conflict: A Republican election judge and a Democrat election judge at the same poll would have equal authority. In an ideal world, they would always agree. But if not, needless conflict could arise that others, including your office, have no authority to resolve.
- Cost: Your office suggested joint primaries would save costs. Although the State of Texas–not your office–picks up the tab for primaries, this is not accurate. As your demonstration showed, each check-in location would have workers from each Party. Unless you forced one party to have fewer election workers, a joint primary would not save the State money.
Click here to view the letter that HCRP Chair Paul Simpson sent to Dr. Trautman.Read more
HOUSTON, August 9, 2019 – Harris County Republican Party Chairman Paul Simpson sent a letter to Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman regarding the Party's decision on the joint primary proposal.
Click here to view the letter to the County Clerk.
Click here to view additional efforts by the HCRP on election integrity.
HOUSTON, August 2, 2019 – Harris County Republican Party Chairman Paul Simpson issued the following statement regarding the County Clerk’s adoption of countywide voting centers in the November 2019 election instead of the longstanding precinct-based Election Day model:
“All Harris County voters benefit from convenient and readily accessible voting locations; and because every vote should count equally, all voters benefit by maintaining election integrity. That is why we appreciate the good work of the Secretary of State to require the Democrat County Clerk show her countywide voting center scheme meets the law – so it does not do more harm than good.
“As the nation’s third-largest county, Harris County poses unique challenges for countywide voting centers that smaller counties use. Every electronic poll book in every countywide voting center must update in real time so people can vote only once. In the very-low-turnout May 2019 election, the Harris County Republican Party documented that the poll books used in voting centers did not update in a timely manner.
“Currently, the County Clerk’s electronic poll book system may not be ready for what could be one of the largest simultaneous voting operations in the nation in November 2020. Furthermore, shrinking the number of polling locations as a band-aid to make that system work would defeat its stated purpose and make voting less accessible to voters.
“We thank the Secretary of State for recognizing the challenges in using election day countywide voting centers in Harris County by requiring better communication and electronic records so the Democrat Clerk shows that her voting center equipment is ready for prime time in November 2020 – which will likely be the largest turnout Harris County has ever seen. We will remain vigilant, as should all voters, to ensure the County Clerk’s voting center electronic poll books actually comply with the law.”
The Harris County Republican Party remains engaged on election integrity issues. Chairman Simpson recently spoke out against a proposal by the Harris County Clerk to move towards a “joint primary,” saying the proposal would empower government bureaucrats, let one party's workers run the other party's primary election that selects its candidates, and run the risk of disenfranchising, inconveniencing, and confusing voters. Click to view the full story in the Houston Chronicle.
HOUSTON, July 30, 2019 – The Democrat-controlled Harris County Commissioners Court today voted 3-2 split along party lines to approve a $97 million payment to settle a flawed bail reform lawsuit and adopt a resolution undermining ICE, supporting sanctuary city status, and reducing public safety. Harris County Republican Party Chairman Paul Simpson released the following statements regarding today's County Commissioners Court meeting:
On Bail Reform Settlement:
"Democrat County Commissioners today put criminals ahead of victims in Harris County, just to advance their radical agenda. Their $97 million payment to settle a flawed bail reform lawsuit is not only fiscally irresponsible, but will keep the revolving door of justice at the courthouse spinning so more criminals can roam the streets of Harris County. To satisfy their radical supporters, Democrat Commissioners are sacrificing our safety and endangering the law enforcement professionals who work everyday to protect Harris County neighborhoods."
On Immigration Resolution:
"Democrat County Commissioners in Harris County joined AOC and the 'socialist squad' today by adopting Democrat Adrian Garcia's resolution that demeans and undermines the brave men and women of ICE who protect our borders, while supporting sanctuary city status that reduces public safety and overloads our schools, hospitals, and resources. It's time Democrats took this national security and humanitarian crisis seriously. That starts with recognizing that we are a nation of laws and the concerns of law-abiding citizens come first."
HOUSTON, July 8, 2019 – In advance of the Commissioners Court meeting on July 9, Harris County Republican Party Chair Paul Simpson released the following statement regarding Democrat County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s decision to change the Harris County budgeting process:
“Despite her rhetoric, Democrat County Judge Lina Hidalgo made the swift decision to change the budget process on a ‘whim’ rather than stand for the citizens of Harris County. This move was not rooted in science and nothing more than a deceptive, political money grab to advance Judge Hidalgo’s liberal agenda neglecting the needs of all of Harris County.” – Harris County Republican Party Chair Paul Simpson
When asked by District Attorney Kim Ogg for funds for additional prosecutors, Judge Hidalgo said:
“When we make a decision on a whim, we get something like the recent exposé from The Chronicle…That is why the budget process is a process.”
– Judge Lina Hidalgo, Commissioners Court 6/25/19
“Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday rejected District Attorney Kim Ogg’s request for more staff to handle fallout from the Houston Police Department’s botched Pecan Park drug raid.… The court voted 3-2 along party lines.… Commissioners Rodney Ellis and Adrian Garcia joined County Judge Lina Hidalgo in turning down the request.” (Houston Chronicle, 6/25/19)
However, when Commissioner Rodney Ellis used a vague agenda item to change the Harris County budget process and reallocate millions of dollars in mobility funds, Judge Hidalgo said:
“So, if the proposal is to change one allocation for a 25 [percent] allocation just because – until we come up with some science, I would be for that.”
– Judge Lina Hidalgo, Commissioners Court 6/25/19
“The three Democrats on the Harris County Commissioners Court, in the latest flex of their newly won majority, have begun shifting road money to their two precincts and away from the two Republican-controlled ones.… The court voted 3-2 along party lines Tuesday to divide the funds evenly among the precincts, shifting 15 percent of the dollars — a swing of more than $9 million per year, based on recent averages — from Republican-held precincts to Democrat-held ones.” (Houston Chronicle, 6/25/19)
As a reminder, Judge Hidalgo campaigned on transparency and public engagement:
"In everything we do, we represent all the people of Harris County – not just the ones who voted for us. It's our job to do right by them; to be worthy of the trust placed upon us." – Judge Lina Hidalgo, January 1, 2019
“‘The public has a right to know before we make major financial changes of how we finance infrastructure,’ Cagle said. ‘This is not fair. We need to have an opportunity to discuss this in the public. To change it with no notice is wrong. We ought to have transparency — real transparency.’” (Houston Chronicle, 6/25/19)
Democrat County Judge Lina Hidalgo Uses Skewed Survey by Left-Wing Organizers to Create Countywide Agenda
HOUSTON, June 20, 2019 – Instead of caring for the needs of all Harris County citizens, Democrat County Judge Lina Hidalgo is using left-wing organizers and campaign organizations like Texas Organizing Project (TOP) to craft policy and priorities. That Democrat Judge Hidalgo would use a biased skewed "survey" to govern is irresponsible and blatantly disregards the needs and voices of the citizens she was elected to serve.
(Check out these reports for a refresher on TOP: a Dallas News Feb 2018 story about TOP campaigning for Democrats in Dallas, a House of Reps April 2010 report about TOP as an ACORN successor, and a Texas Monthly article about TOP campaigning for Democrats.)
Just take it from political scientists who recently spoke out to debunk the methodology of Hidalgo's survey:
"Political scientists, however, cautioned that the results should not be used as a basis for public policy because the survey was not representative of Harris County residents as a whole. The poll was designed to over-sample neighborhoods with historically low levels of civic participation, such as Acres Homes, Near Northside, Gulfton and Galena Park."
"'It would be irresponsible to use this document for any serious public policy initiatives, based on the logic that this somehow represents the will, or the opinion, or attitudes of the population of Harris County residents,' said Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University.
"The approach, the surveyors’ acknowledged, resulted in disproportionate sampling of economic, racial and ethnic groups. Hispanic and black residents were over-sampled, while white and Asian residents were under-sampled.
"The survey was offered online, though about three-fourths of the responses were collected through canvassing by outside groups, including the Texas Organizing Project, Boat People SOS, Chinese Community Center and Emgage."
"Jay Aiyer, a former political scientist at Texas Southern University said... the survey fails to offer a representative cross-section of Harris County residents...
"'Should this drive policy? Probably not,' Aiyer said."
While Hidalgo's survey explicitly states: "Judge Hidalgo intends to prioritize administrative policies, practices, and funding based on these issues." (Page 3)
According to The Chronicle, she now claims: "...the study was never intended to be scientific. Rather, she said her office wanted to hear from residents who are unlikely to attend events because of work, transportation or family obstacles."
Even the Houston Chronicle's Assistant City Editor questioned the County Judge's approach: